Game Overview ::
By mike johnson >>
- The Commanders are still right in the NFC playoff hunt despite an up-and-down season thus far.
- Seattle is coming off a humbling 37-3 loss to the Ravens.
- Sam Howell is on a record-setting pace for sacks taken in a season, although he and the offensive line have improved in that area over the past two weeks.
- This game has a path to becoming a shootout thanks to the Commanders’ poor pass defense and the Seahawks’ elite run defense.
- This is the only game on the Week 10 slate that features two teams in the top 10 in the NFL in Pass Rate Over Expectation.
How washington Will Try To Win ::
The Commanders are among the elite offenses in the NFL. Well, at least in terms of offensive approach. Speaking in general, teams tend to build their offensive game plans and approaches around their personnel’s strengths and weaknesses. If you look at the top-12 teams in the NFL in Pass Rate Over Expectation (PROE), here are 11 of the quarterbacks for those teams::
- Joe Burrow
- Patrick Mahomes
- Josh Allen
- Kirk Cousins
- Trevor Lawrence
- Tua Tagovailoa
- Justin Herbert
- Geno Smith
- Jalen Hurts
- Dak Prescott
- Lamar Jackson
That is basically just a list of the best quarterbacks in the NFL. Ironically, Sam Howell is the “one that’s not like the others” from this list, with the Commanders ranking 3rd in PROE behind only the Bengals and Chiefs. New offensive coordinator Eric Bienemy came over from the Chiefs and has kept with his system as he pushes the pass rate and tempo for the Commanders. Howell has attempted 40 or more passes in five of the last six games. Washington has had some low moments this year, such as a 34-point home loss to the Bills and a blowout loss to the lowly Bears, but they’ve also had some moments that inspire hope, like their two close losses to the dominant Eagles. For all the ups and downs they’ve had already in 2023, the Commanders are still in the thick of the NFC playoff hunt but will need to pull off a couple of upsets down the stretch against a very difficult remaining schedule that includes the Seahawks, 49ers, Cowboys (x2), and Dolphins.
Entering Week 8, the Seahawks defense ranked 3rd in the NFL in both run defense DVOA and opponents yards per carry. The Browns and their run-based offense had success in Week 8, and the Ravens offense went nuclear last week, which has skewed the data heavily for the “season-long” stats, which now show Seattle as a middling run defense ranking 18th in run defense DVOA and 21st in opponents yards per carry. This is one of those situations where context is vital, and simply looking at the top-layer rankings/statistics would be misleading. “Reading the tea leaves,” we can see that the Seahawks have been elite against the run when playing offenses not built around that part of their offense. Considering the tendencies the Commanders have shown this year and their current playcalling splits, it is reasonable to expect that Seattle will provide a brick wall to the running game for Washington and turn them into a fully one-dimensional attack. Seattle’s scheme relies heavily on zone concepts, limiting big plays and keeping the ball in front of them. We should expect an extremely high volume of passes from Washington this week, while those passes will primarily be forced to the field’s short and intermediate middle areas.